Torture in Russian prisons

After the Novaya Gazeta newspaper released a video filmed in 2017 showing an inmate in a penal colony in the city of Yaroslavl being tortured by prison employees, the investigation into the incident, which had been closed, has been reopened. But this won't make any difference to the situation in Russia's prisons, commentators from the opposition predict.

Open/close all quotes
Republic (RU) /

Justice becoming a lottery

This latest torture scandal will be investigated but that won't change the situation in Russian prisons, journalist Oleg Kashin fears in Republic:

“The Yaroslavl scandal has lit up a tiny square in a huge dark field. ... The selective application of the law in the Russian justice system is, if not the basis, then at least a fundamental principle that allows the system to apply the law solely in its own interests and remain untouchable. For Yevgeny Makarov, who is tortured on the video, the punishment of his tormentors will be a victory of justice - and for Russian standards that is very good news. But when justice is like winning the lottery, this cannot be good news for everyone.”

Echo of Moscow (RU) /

The sadists are among us

For the Echo of Moscow the dreadful scenes are sad everyday reality:

“These images in which a person is tortured for ten minutes are nothing unusual. This is common practice! ... Now we know the names of the sadists. People will be looking them up in social networks - and be surprised to see that they have children, read books, ride scooters. ... Today he leads his child on a pony, tomorrow he beats someone with a rubber truncheon to the point where he can no longer stand and pees blood. Such monsters can exist in any society. But a healthy society doesn't describe this as 'transgressions' but as torture. And it does everything it can to ensure that this isn't repeated and that the perpetrators are punished.”